I love snow, in an illogical, childish sort of way. I can’t seem to get over it, even if I am 60 years old. When I wake up in the morning, and there is snow all over the ground, I never think things like, “the roads are going to be terrible today” or “I bet that important meeting will be cancelled, and it’s going to be hell to reschedule it.” Nope. I think, “SNOW!!! Wow! Maybe school will be cancelled!” None of this makes any sense. I’m not in school. I have only one child still in the kind of school that gets affected by a snow day. But I feel an excited rush when I start hearing the list of school closings. I always want to be the one who goes into my daughter’s room and announces, “Snow Day!” (I have to say that smart phones have taken away a lot of the fun, since my daughter almost always gets her little instant message from the school or the radio station before I can get to her.)
The other thing I like about snow is that it seems to slow things down, to make you
feel like the day can creep slowly by instead of roaring ahead. It makes me want to curl up on a couch somewhere and read a good book, while sipping hot chocolate. It reminds me that there are things in life that are a whole lot more important than deadlines, emails, and voicemails. It reminds me to look around and see beauty all over the place—since nothing looks ugly when it’s covered in fresh snow.
Time Magazine is just about the only magazine I read. And while it does look more and more like a comic book these days since there aren’t many long articles and there are a lot of short factoids and cartoons, I’m not complaining since that is about all I have time for.
It’s not only disturbing, it’s alarming really, because many of my favorite foods are going to be disappearing if there are no bees to pollinate those plants.
“There were just barely enough viable honeybees in the U.S. to service this spring’s vital almond pollination in California, putting a product worth nearly $4 billion at risk. Almonds are a big deal – they’re the Golden State’s most valuable agricultural export, worth more than twice as much as its iconic wine grapes. And almonds, totally dependent on honeybees, are a bellwether of the larger problem. For fruits and vegetables as diverse as cantaloupes, cranberries and cucumbers, pollination can be a farmer’s only chance to increase maximum yield. Eliminate the honeybee and agriculture would be permanently diminished. “The take-home message is that we are very close to the edge,” says Jeff Pettis, the research leader at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Bee Research Laboratory. “It’s a roll of the dice now.”
Everyone wants to know why they are dying, but no on has even mentioned cell phone towers. There seems to be a connection since the bees have been dying off only in last ten years or so, about the time when cell phone towers began to spring up all over the world. Hmmm…I have to wonder if those towers have disrupted the honey bee’s instinctual sense of direction that makes them not go back to their hives? Maybe the connection will never be investigated because god forbid we have to give up our smartphones! There are other things that making them die, like mites and parasites, and chemicals. It’s probably all of the above.
Or could it be the aluminum that is being sprayed from planes? I wonder what happens when those chem-trails eventually dissipate and land on things, like flowers and places that bees land on, and maybe ingest? Wait a minute, what about us? Oh oh! I better stop right now, because if the bees are getting affected by something, then maybe, so are we!
It might be that it is something that won’t be taken very seriously until it’s too late.
Let me just ask you, which food or crop will you miss the most?
With almonds being 100% dependent on pollination, apples, asparagus, avocados, broccoli, blueberries and onions are 90% dependent. Cherries, cucumbers, and celery are 80%. Plums/prunes and watermelon are 65% dependent on bee pollination, with tangerine, lemon, and the cotton industry also being affected.
There’s a lot going on, and that’s why I haven’t written in a while.
Some of the things that have taken up my time are the following:
1. Planting and pruning time in the garden
3. A couple of birthday party’s
4. The fact that I’ve been drawing a blank on what to write about
5. And, our dog ate my ongoing journal of notes
We’ve also had some crazy weather, so not knowing if it’s summer or fall or spring has got me a little out of sorts. Then we had a killing frost, with my beloved fig tree surviving, but with a lot of damage, and just a few days ago a deluge of rain. Constant rain. Unusual amounts of rain. But no wind like the mid-west had with it’s incredible tornadoes that went through. Yes, there is always something to be thankful for.
The real news of the tragedy of Fukishima is coming out – finally. The media has been successful in keeping the truth of what did happen, and what is happening, from us for over a year. But the truth will always prevail, and so it is with the nuclear meltdown to end all nuclear meltdowns at Fukishima.
I go back and forth: should I even mention anything? Most friends don’t care, don’t know, or truly think it’s been taken care of.
Which I find interesting, because during the 1960’s and 70’s, these same older friends were the younger generation who were trying to change the world; to make love, not war; to give peace a chance; to stop all nuclear power, with bumper stickers like “The Sun in the only Nuclear Power we Need”.
I guess nothing could can be done, and it doesn’t ultimately matter anyways, right? Or maybe we are getting too old to think about it.
After watching the speech that Helen Caldicott, I went out into my garden and took a few pictures of the first Oriental Poppy and some flowers that are really weeds that I so enjoy to see come every year, and I was filled with peace and happiness. Because like Helen Caldicott, I am a worshiper of Nature. And, I love this planet. It’s time to go inside and create the world I want to see, to imagine it, to see with my mind’s eye, a better world that will come out of the chaos and change. I can’t wait.
Our Friend, Totsie, disappeared from Asheville, but we found her in Panama. Here is her story.
Part 1: Making the Decision
“Wanda fell and broke her (other) arm. She is doing better but can’t remember why she has a cast on her arm.” This email came after we made the decision to move to Boquete, Panama and help take care of my 83 year-old mother-in-law, Wanda. It sealed the deal for us. We said we would come to Panama for a year.
How it came to be:
My husband, Winn, and I had toyed with the idea of moving to Boquete after visiting there in January 2011. Winn’s brother, Kevin, and his wife, Tammy, had been taking care of Wanda for three years and had moved their whole family, including three school aged children, to Boquete about a year before our visit. Their decision to relocate there was based on Tammy’s parents, who had retired there, and their own research on cost of living, quality of medical care and the desire to scale down their expensive lifestyle in the states.
Winn and I have a web development business. I started the business in 1996 and he joined me in 2006. We re-branded the company in 2011 from Totsie.com to Webonobo and positioned it to be “Local Global Mobile Web Solutions”. We also had our site translated into Spanish to attract clients who needed multilingual sites. We had always been told “Oh, you could do your business from anywhere in the world.”, so now seemed to be the right time to see if that was true.
Our original thought was that we could move to Boquete, live near Kevin and Tammy and help take care of Wanda while continuing our business. We knew we would have a cable internet connection and with modern conveniences like Skype, we could still have personal connections to our clients.
The deciding factors:
One factor in our decision to move was that our business had slowed, like most businesses in the states, and while we still had a stable roster of 60+ clients which we host and support, the requests for new sites had slowed to a trickle. Even though we had re-branded and felt positive about the new direction, we were still in the early stages of marketing our new global potential.
Another important factor came when I had a reading with an intuitive in Asheville who helped me admit the fact that I was personally burned out. Being entirely self-taught, self-motivated, self-marketed, I had been working long days for 16 years and even though I thought I had a few good business years left in me, the truth came out in the reading and I had to admit that I was just plain tired, that I had become one-dimensional in giving all my energy to the business and what I really wanted was a big change in lifestyle.
When I told Winn about my true feelings he immediately said “Absolutely, no problem, I can take over the business. I want you to rest and find yourself.” His next thought was that HE wanted to meet with the intuitive. In truth, he had been wanting to change the hectic lifestyle we had created but hadn’t figured out how to make that happen. So now he was motivated to not only take over the helm but also to do it in his style and at his pace.
And yet a third factor is the fact that I turn 62 on March 6, 2012. Yes, I’m a baby boomer. It seemed unreal to me that people really used to retire at 62 but here I was actually considering it! Of course I would have to give up the CEO position in the company and work less hours to qualify for Social Security but that quickly became a no-brainer. Winn, being 5 years younger than me, still felt excited about our rebranding efforts and could see himself running the business with me as co-pilot.
Running the numbers:
Winn loves spreadsheets so he spread us out in all the ways he could think of to evaluate the wisdom of our move. No matter how you sliced it, it looked like a really good idea!
Based on Kevin and Tammy’s experiences and cost of living, he decided that (as the new CEO) we could offer our services at a lower rate to our clients since our cost of living would be lower in Panama and that would create a win-win for our clients, who had smaller marketing budgets because of the downturn in the economy, and us who had lower living expenses. We could continue running the business, just on a smaller more sustainable pace. We would be living internationally which could eventually meet one of our rebranding goals which was to produce multilingual sites for international clients. We both got excited about the positive possibilities of this move and after we found a great renter for our house-someone I already had an acquaintance with who is in our industry-we felt like the light was green to go.
Part II – Next Monday! In the meantime, Happy Birthday Totsie.
When Robert Redford speaks out, it makes sense to listen. Please click above.
A few months ago, President Obama made a decision to postpone the KeystoneXL pipeline – Hurray! I was very happy to hear about that. Oh, for just 60 days? OK, it’s just the beginning of a battle. So it’s coming up again. And we all need to be aware of it.
Y’know, there is such incredible beauty in this country. I’ve taken many road trips over the years, and have always been touched by it, and how BIG America is.
I remember being surprised when I saw the Pacific Ocean for the first time just outside of San Diego in 1971. I remember seeing the Grand Canyon and feeling the “grandness” of it.
I remember the feel of walking into the Redwood Forest outside of Mill Valley (the name of that city is so ironic) and sensing the silence of those trees all together, untouched by man.
I also remember the sadness I felt when I saw the land that was given to the Indians by the US Government in exchange for…well, I guess it was out of guilt for treating them so bad. I saw a couple of these “Indian Reservations” and they looked like miles and miles of rubble and flat, lifeless land. I remember getting out of the car back then, to see one of these “Reservations”, and felt like I could bounce with each step, since it looked like so much like the Moon’s landscape.
With the KeystoneXL pipeline, I don’t know who will win out in the end. Big Oil might.
But it’s not over yet, and maybe being aware of the game might help to shift the decision that would impact our beautiful country.
I mean, if awareness can get Bank of America to drop their $5 per month charge to customers, then I think there is a good chance that if people knew what was at stake, they would not want this pipeline destroying this beautiful land, right down the middle.
I hope you take a look at the clip to expand your consciousness, and imagine a future where new jobs and the future generation will create clean energy, and can enjoy this incredibly beautiful country.